When trying to build relationships with your potential customers through telemarketing, one of the most important steps in the process is following up with them after your first interaction.
On average, 80% of sales will require 5 follow-up calls after the initial interaction, meaning you’ll need to be staying connected with your prospects if you want to ensure you aren’t missing out on any potential sales.
Although, it’s not always easy to keep this continuous contact with a lead, especially with decision-maker’s busy schedules, and your own schedule with other clients and prospecting, which can make it hard to manage several client accounts at once.
In this article, we’ll be delving into a few useful steps you can take to hopefully help you manage your follow-ups more effectively and things to avoid doing on your follow-up calls.
Make a Follow-up Commitment
Before ending your first call with a potential customer if the prospect has shown interest and seem to be a good fit for your business, then it’s important to schedule a follow-up.
When requesting this follow-up, always set a specific time and date that works for both you and the prospect. Ask them for the best time to have another conversation and take note of the timings for when your next call will be.
Be specific when confirming a date and time, as it will help to establish a commitment to the follow-up and will mean they are less likely to miss your next call or be interrupted by it at an inconvenient time.
Scheduling a follow-up after the initial interaction gives the prospect time to go away, speak to their business partners or superiors, and also have a think about any concerns they have. On the next interaction, you can then find out if they’re wanting to go ahead, and you can address some of their thoughts and concerns.
Send a Follow-up Reminder
Once you’ve started scheduling a good number of follow-up calls with various prospective customers, it can be a good sign that you are making some progress in your telemarketing activities. Now you’ve got these follow-ups booked in, you want to make sure that they actually happen and minimise potential dropouts.
This is why reminders at least 24 hours before a scheduled meeting are important, to check if the prospect is still available for the call and remind them of when it will be taking place. These gentle reminders are always useful to send, as they often help reduce the amount of time telemarketers spend waiting and attempting to contact a lead for a scheduled call that has been forgotten about.
A simple email, or even a text, is a great way to politely remind the lead of when the follow-up will be taking place, which should increase the chances of the prospect turning up to your call.
Once you’ve secured the follow-up and sent a reminder to the prospect of when the call will be taking place, it’s important that you are on time and don’t let the prospect down.
Being late for your scheduled follow-up and making the prospect wait for too long, can show a lack of dedication and respect for the prospect’s time. This is highly likely to ruin the possibility of converting the lead on the call and reduces your chances of scheduling a second follow-up with that prospect.
Punctuality is very important for your follow-ups, as it shows you value the prospect and their efforts to make availability for your call.
Things to Avoid
Never go into a follow-up call with a prospect unprepared, otherwise you’ll be wasting their time and yours. Always remind yourself of what the prospect does and what their business is about, so you are ready to speak with them again with a clear understanding of their needs.
Think about what you want to achieve from this follow-up call so you know what you are aiming for, and can prepare some talking points that will help lead you to your goals. The more prep work you do beforehand, the easier it will be to develop a stronger business relationship with the prospect and convert them into a customer.
Also, it’s important to avoid speaking too much during the follow-up and not giving the prospect enough time to speak, so you can actually hear what they have to say. You might have lots of questions to ask them, but if you’re not actively listening and giving them the chance to fully speak their mind, the follow-up is worthless.
A meaningful follow-up requires an equal balance of contribution from both parties. If you are doing all the talking it’ll be difficult to gain any insight into the potential customer and their queries and concerns, they may have. Always remember to avoid speaking too much, and actively listen to the prospect throughout the follow-up call.
Follow-up calls are an essential part of the sales process, that must always be considered when making cold calls to potential customers. Without a follow-up, you are potentially missing out on lots of deals from various leads that haven’t been pursued to help establish a relationship and create a sale.
By following a few of the tips outlined in the article above, you can now hopefully know the importance of the follow-up and understand how to achieve successful follow-up calls that will help increase your sales and grow your customer base.